Psalm 27 – Asking God for God

Bible opened to Psalm 27 with Alter Eco Blackout dark chocolate on zebra plate

Today’s passage: Psalm 27

Today’s chocolateAlter Eco Blackout Dark Chocolate

Welcome back, everyone. I considered doing a Memorial Day post yesterday covering David’s lament over the deaths of King Saul and Jonathan in 2 Samuel 1:19-27, but I opted to take the day off and chill. In any event, I hope you had a good Memorial Day and reflected on those who gave their lives to ensure your security and freedom. And now that it’s Tuesday, let’s check out Psalm 27.

This is another psalm where David is threatened by enemies but confident in God. Throughout the passage, he reiterates that God is all he needs, as in these lines:

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple. (4)

The only thing David asks for is to be in God’s presence, to always have access to him. If you could ask the all-powerful Creator of the universe for anything at all, what would you ask him for? Wealth, fame, relief from pain? Would you ask him for…him?

David paints his desire for God as a response to God’s call. He writes: “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek'” (8). God was both the initiator and the one with authority here. David may be a king, but God is David’s king, issuing the imperative “Seek My face,” commanding what is in David’s best interests and what will ensure his well-being. God has what David needs–not just the power to rescue a man in trouble, but love and fellowship and generous compassion.

David’s worst-case scenario isn’t the threat of death or pain or shame at the hands of his foes. “Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!” (9) he cries out. If he’s got God, he’s got everything he needs–but if he doesn’t have God, then ultimately nothing else will save him. He doesn’t ask God for anything else. “Stay with me,” he says. “I need you.”

The strange thing is, even though all we need is God, God still gives us other things in addition to himself. I’m not sure why he does this, because there’s a tendency for us to value the gifts more than the giver. But he does–presumably because in doing so he displays his creativity and generosity. I think the best attitude may be to seek God’s face, as David did, and to expect nothing from him but his presence. Then, when God gives us gifts, it’s like a significant other surprising you with flowers. You can enjoy the gift without neglecting the giver because you didn’t expect it, didn’t feel entitled to it, it’s simply a pleasant surprise from your favorite person–and life is better than you expected.

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